Four locations around the world have been selected for the second edition of the Freeride World Tour. On top of it, qualification events have joined as Freeride World Qualifier events making the Tour even more attractive, with more events and more riders.
The planet's top freeride skiers and snowboarders will start in Sochi with the Nissan Russian Adventure 2009 and then travel to the USA, France and Switzerland to prove their skills on some of the world's most challenging faces. The Freeride World Tour has a prize purse of $250,000, the highest sum ever to be paid in ski or snowboard freeride contests.
On March 15, 2008, the first ever edition of the Freeride World Tour (FWT) was completed after five successful events around the globe, finishing with the prestigious Nissan O'Neill Xtreme in Verbier, Switzerland. Ruth Leisibach (SUI) and Xavier de le Rue (FRA) ibecame the first Freeride World Champions in history.
The Freeride World Tour is on for the second edition. The world best professional freeriders are back on the Tour and have all confirmed their participation. A number of 40 male and female riders plus wild cards are invited to the first three contests: Nissan Russian Adventure in Sochi (Russia), Nissan Tram Face in Squaw Valley (USA), and Nissan Freeride in Tignes (France). The final contest will take place in Switzerland with the Nissan Xtreme - Verbier 09, on the gruelling north face of the Bec des Rosses, one of the most challenging descents in the world of freeriding.
"It is great to see that the Tour will continue to its second year with all the top riders of last year’s edition present," said Swedish skier Henrik Windstedt, the sensational Freeride World Tour Champion 2008. “With the high level of the athletes, the standard of the riding will if possible be even greater than last year. The Tour will also develop and grow to an even higher quality event, which is just great for the future of this sport", Windstedt further commented.
Founder and organiser Nicolas Hale-Woods (SUI) is very pleased with the progression of the Freeride World Tour to its second edition. “The fact that 100% of the top ranked riders from last year have confirmed their participation for this year is really a measurement of success for the Freeride World Tour. We feel that the progression of the sport is strong. With the extensive support of our main partner Nissan, new partners joining in and top resorts like Sochi, Squaw Valley USA, Tignes and Verbier hosting our contests, we are attracting more and more attention of the public, the media and the industry." Jean-Pierre Diernaz, General Manager of Nissan’s Marketing Communications in Europe said, “As we prepare for the second year of Nissan’s commitment to the Freeride World Tour across Europe and North America, we are very excited by the addition of new Freeride World Qualifier events in countries including Italy, Slovakia and Norway. This will allow more athletes than ever before the opportunity to qualify for the four Nissan sponsored Tour events. Through these, we hope that the Freeride World Tour will uncover the next generation of male and female international skiers and snowboarders."
In order to allow freeriders who are not qualified for the Freeride World Tour to participate and score points, the Pro Freeriders Board elected existing international events to be part of the Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ). The FWQ is a series of independently organised events around the world. Riders participating in those events collect points in the Freeride World Ranking (FWR), a unique ranking list for both FWT and FWQ events. Riders from the Freeride World Tour and the Qualifier will therefore climb up and down the ranking list throughout the season. Finally the three best results will count to score the 2009 Freeride World Champions who will be crowned in Verbier after the Xtreme.
1. NISSAN RUSSIAN ADVENTURE - SOCHI, RUSSIA Dates: 20-25 JAN 2009, Preliminary contest day: Wednesday 21 January 20 riders (snowboard) qualified + wild cards (15 males, 5 females)
2. NISSAN TRAM FACE - SQUAW VALLEY USA Dates: 27 February-05 March 2009, Preliminary contest day: Saturday 28 February 20 riders (snowboard) qualified + wild cards
3. NISSAN FREERIDE DE TIGNES, FRANCE Dates: 8-14 March 2009, Preliminary contest day: Monday 9 March 20 riders (snowboard) qualified + wild cards
4. NISSAN XTREME - VERBIER 09, SWITZERLAND Dates: 20-29 March 2009, Preliminary contest day: Saturday 21 March 22 riders qualified + wild cards: 8 best males on the FWR09 + wild cards, 3 best females on the FWR09 + wild cards
The final entry list for the Nissan Xtreme - Verbier 09 will be announced at 4pm CET the day of the Nissan Freeride de Tignes
Confirmed Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) events are:
THE NORTH FACE MASTERS OF SNOWBOARDING - SNOWBIRD (USA), 30 January-1 February SPYDER BIG MOUNTAIN FIEBERBRUNN (AUT), 5-15 February 2009 THE NORTH FACE MASTERS OF SNOWBOARDING - CRESTED BUTTE (USA), 13-15 February WINTER MYSTICXPERIENCE (ITA), 19-22 February 2009 THE NORTH FACE MASTERS OF SNOWBOARDING - KIRKWOOD (USA), 6-8 March NENDAZ FREERIDE (SUI), 13-18 March 2009 JASNA ADRENALIN (SK), 31 March-5 April 2009 RÖLDAL FREERIDE CHALLENGE (NOR), 22-26 April 2009